Energy Answers for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher

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The USDA has sponsored the development of a new series of extension materials designed specifically with new farmers in mind.  Called “Energy Answers for the Beginning Farmer & Rancher”, it utilizes farm energy experts from university extension programs across the country to answer hot-topic energy questions.  The main product of the project is a series of short, engaging videos and resources that give useful tips and information on-farm energy.

Featured videos include:

NEWBio Team Defines Human Systems Driving the Bioeconomy Transition

NEWBio research discovers social, cultural, and economic motives behind local bioenergy decisions.

Collaboration between farmers and bioenergy experts
Collaboration between farmers and bioenergy experts. Photo: Great Plains Institute

Landowner and other stakeholder responses to bioenergy crop production play a critical role in the bioenergy industry’s future. NEWBio’s Human Systems Team set out to understand the social, cultural, and economic factors that drive decisions about bioenergy development in the Northeast U.S. Drawing from social science disciplines, the team found evidence that social-cultural and economic factors of bioenergy …

NEWBio Harvest, Preprocessing, and Logistics Team Optimizes Biomass Supply Chain Processes

NEWBio shows producers new methods that can save them sizable costs in their biomass operations, including a 20% reduction in harvesting.

Bioenergy supply chain
Figure 1. Bioenergy supply chain from the production of dedicated energy crops through harvesting, storage, preprocessing and transportation to an end user. Courtesy of Tom Richard.

Harvesting, preprocessing, and storing biomass and then transporting it to biorefineries or other end users is a critical part of the bioenergy supply chain. Those functions can account for more than half the …

NEWBio Feedstock Improvement Team Breeds Better Switchgrass and Willow for the Bioeconomy

Breeding new perennial grass varieties of willow and switchgrass with useful bioenergy traits for the Northeast drives NEWBio team.

Shrub willow
Shrub Willow Canopy. Photo credit: Armen Kemanian.

 

Perennial crops dedicated to biomass production are just starting to be developed.  Most existing varieties of potential feedstock crops, such as switchgrass, have been bred for use as forage or conservation. But new varieties with traits that bioenergy producers require, especially high yields of biomass, will be a boon to a growing bioenergy industry. …

Market Analysis for Biomass Growers

Example Analyses of the Wood Chips and Paperboard Manufacturing Industries as Biomass Markets.

Introduction

Greene-Team-pellets
Greene Team pellets. Photo: NEWBio

The production of biofuels is a primary intended use for biomass. Because the cellulosic biofuels industry is still developing, there is not yet sufficient capacity in biofuel refineries to utilize biomass crops grown for cellulosic biofuels. However, the bioeconomy overall is growing, and many products other than biofuels can be manufactured from biomass. These byproducts may be alternate markets [i] for …

Research Summary: How Bioenergy Experts Can Improve Public Engagement

By including landowners in conversations about bioenergy crops such as switchgrass, willow and Miscanthus, experts are more likely to promote adoption than by just providing new information.

Sponsoring Partner

Logo NEWBio
Funded by AFRI. Learn More.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Current efforts to engage landowners on the topic of dedicated energy crops may fall short due to a crucial assumption made …

NEWBio Commercial Collaborators: Building a Sustainable Energy Future in the Northeast United States

Sponsoring Partner

Logo NEWBio
Funded by AFRI. Learn More.

 

The Northeast region of the United States (from the Ohio River to the New England coast) has the natural, social, and technological resources needed to help create a sustainable, rural renaissance by using biomass to create biofuels, biopower, and advanced bioproducts. The Northeast Woody/Warm-Season Biomass Consortium (NEWBio) believes that the path to this vision is through collaboration with commercial innovators along various points of the bioeconomy supply chain. NEWBio’s commercial collaborators, biomass-based …

Bioenergy Crops Provide Valuable Ecosystem Services

Biofuel perennial grass and woody crops provide significant benefits for humankind.

 
Willow pollinator
Pollinator on shrub willow. Photo: Giuseppe Tumminello, U. Syracuse.

 

Table of Contents

What Is an Ecosystem Service?

A functioning ecosystem is the intricate environmental relationship of soil, water, microorganisms, …

CenUSA Models Predict Large Water Quality Improvements from Perennials

CenUSA’s System Performance team research shows water quality benefits when biofuels are produced from perennial grasses; provides guidance for policymakers, farmers, and the bioenergy industry.

Sponsoring Partner

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Funded by AFRI. Learn More.

Table of Contents

 

CenUSA-cycle-graphic

The Team and Objectives

Despite more than 40 years of largely voluntary efforts by federal, state and local government, …

Research Summary: What Would it Take to Convince Farmers to Grow Switchgrass for Biomass?

Researchers delve into the economic incentives that would induce farmers to grow switchgrass for cellulosic biofuel.

 

Sponsoring Partner

CenUSA-Logo
Funded by AFRI. Learn More.

Table of Contents

Abstract

A survey of crop farmers in the North-Central region of the United States finds that they would ask for an average of $230 per acre, or about $82 per dry ton, to …